Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Warning...I am about to rant about something political!!!!

But it’s my money….
Working at Target I see a lot of people who come in and pay a lot of different ways. Check, cash, credit card, gift cards-both Target gift cards and the Visa, MC or AE gift cards; and of course Food Stamps and welfare. However food stamps are no longer the pc term in California, they are now called EBT Food, and welfare is now called EBT cash.
I am not a rich person by any standard. I work hard for my money, I pay my bills on time, I am not trying to take a bailout for the credit cards that I have. I racked up the money on them and therefore I should be the person to pay it off. However I also pay a lot of taxes. My taxes are used to fund programs, just like everyone else’s taxes. I understand this. I understand that it takes tax money to make programs work. Taxes from business, property, and personal, these are the ways our city, county, state and national government provide certain programs to the “deserving” people of our country. But what happens when these programs do not really work.
I see people coming into Target using EBT Food and Cash. I understand some people need some extra assistance, whether it is in the form of food or extra money to pay rent or utilities. But at what point do we need to start regulating what people buy with the money we are giving them?
EBT Food is supposed to help those that need to purchase food. My understanding of the program must be different than the reality of it. I was under the impression it was to help family purchase healthy items such as fruits, veggies, milk products, eggs, meat and bread. However I did not believe it enabled families to purchase items such as chips, cookies, soda and bottled water. On a daily basis I am asked whether or not Target accepts EBT Food/Cash. I have to answer in the yes. But it is seriously disturbing when I see a family pull up to my lane and load up the belt with complete garbage, processed food with MSG and other trans fats, soda and others, especially if the family is already overweight and then pay with EBT Food. I recognize that I do not have a “family” that I am feeding however I feel like yelling at them and asking how they can justify spending “my money” on all this crap. It is not healthy for them, it will not keep them fuller longer, it will make them heavier which then causes many health problems, and then they are probably on state aid in order to cover their health problems. I hate it! It makes the cycle of poverty continues.
According to the state food stamp guidelines:
• In California, all immigrants are eligible for food stamps.
• However, if everyone in the household is getting cash welfare assistance — e.g., general assistance (GA) or CalWORKs (the name of the TANF program in California) — the household is “categorically eligible,” i.e., automatically qualified for food stamps. A few basic food stamp rules still apply to people who are categorically eligible.
All information that I quoted can be found here.

EDIT: I wrote this post about 3 weeks ago. I am still angry with the way our government works, however aside from writing to legislation about this problem I see no solution to fixing it. To go through the many accounts that people have here in California to see if and how they are abusing the system would take money the state does not have. All I can do is write to my legislation to redo certain programs.
What if a person could not qualify for both WIC and foodstamps? Someone I know mentioned that a person can be on both programs, and that is the main reason why the state allows foodstamps to purchase soda and candy.
There are a lot of "What ifs" in this world, but it is not my job to answer them all. I shall put my trust in God and go from there.

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